Chris Carpenter is set to make his 2012 debut just in time for the St. Louis Cardinals, who could use an ace up their sleeve to boost their pursuit of the second NL wild card.
Carpenter was 4-0 in the postseason last fall but hasn't pitched since winning Game 7 of the World Series against Texas. He's back less than two months removed from surgery to relieve a nerve ailment that caused numbness up and down the right side of his body.
The 37-year-old makes his first start of the season Friday in Chicago and doesn't mind the idea of parachuting into an intense stretch run. The 2005 Cy Young winner and former 20-game winner says he's no stranger to late-season pressure.